The treasured Pacific Dogwood or Cornus nuttallii

The Pacific Dogwood or Cornus nuttallii small tree or shrub is protected in British Columbia. It is actually not all that common except in the lower western corner of the Province but has the distinction of being the Provincial flower. I have been admiring one such specimen on Mayne Island for a few years now.

Pacific Dogwood small tree or shrub by Terrill Welch 2013_04_19 067

Isn’t it just grand? The flower or leaf petals are a stunning greenish cream-white. With some rather tame bushwhacking I was able to get up a wee closer so we can have a good study of these beauties.

Pacific Dogwood Cornus nuttallii by Terrill Welch 2013_04_19 083

The actual flower of this plant is the greenish ball in the center. I understand it is suppose to flower spring AND fall but I only seem to notice in the spring. Though the dark red berries are bitter they are the culinary delight of pigeons, quail, grosbeaks, hermit thrushes, and waxwings. Bears and beavers enjoy the fruit and foliage, and deer eat the twigs.

Some aboriginal people used the wood, which is fine-grained, hard and heavy, for bows and arrows. More recently, the Cowichan people on Vancouver Island made knitting needles from it.

The Straits Salish made a tanning agent from the bark. The Thompson people made dyes – deep brown from the bark, black when mixed with grand fir, and red from the roots.

The wood has been used for piano keys. Pacific dogwood varieties are attractive ornamental plant in coastal gardens.

But remember if you see one – British Columbia Legislation protects the Pacific dogwood from being dug up or cut down.

Reference and more about this plant:

Also, it has been a week of finding more homes for paintings and releasing some new ones for sale. Find out more on Terrill Welch Artist at  “Oil landscape paintings – three new releases and three to ship

Can you share with us  the flower emblem of your Province or State?

Wishing a wonderful week ahead with many creative adventures!

© 2013 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

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10 thoughts on “The treasured Pacific Dogwood or Cornus nuttallii

  1. Well, I’d share the provincial flower of where I live, but you just did, lol. I will, instead, share the regional flower of our second home in Sicily. A little bit of research told me that the official flower of Sicily is the carnation although online there was some heated discussion that it is the orange blossom, the lily, and the almond blossom.

    • It somehow seems stereotypically appropriate Diane that Sicily would have a heated discussion about its official flower with several options in the running 🙂 My husband’s family is from northern Italy though one would never guess as he is extremely quiet and mild mannered… and he doesn’t like olives. None! He gives them to me if any accidentally find there way onto his plate.

  2. Terrill – Len and I have been waiting and watching for our neighbor’s Dogwood to bloom. Due to the unseasonably cold weather, it’s a bit late this year.

    The state flower of Illinois is the violet (viola sororia).

    • Oh the wild violet Laurie! Now there is a treasure as well. No picking though. They wilt to fast. Best viewed with your belly on the ground and chin on hands. Thanks for sharing and good luck to your neighbor’s Dogwood. Hopefully it shall be blooming soon.

  3. Such a beautiful flower, Terrill. And it looks like spring in your neck of the woods! I am so envious. Michigan’s flower is the apple blossom. We hope to see it before June this year…

  4. Beautiful photos, Terrill. And thank you for the informative post.
    Yup, dogwood for me as well. And I too have my favourite Mayne Island dogwood tree. I wonder if it’s the same one?
    But the flower of Manitoba (the province where I was born) is the prairie crocus.

  5. Your Pacific dogwood is very lovely. Connecticut’s state flower is a native shrub, the mountain laurel, which has a heavenly fragrance when blooming. It’s fascinating that the wood of the Pacific dogwood has been used for everything from piano keys to Knitting needles.

    • I agree Barbara, the dogwood does seem to be rather versatile. The mountain laurel. Hum, I shall have to look this one up and see what looks like. I will take your word on the the pleasant smell 🙂

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